Pierce County budget meetings will intensify next week as department heads troop before the County Council with requests
Budget deliberations by the Pierce County Council will pick up speed next week as the panel hears from a number of department heads, including budget director Patrick Kenney, Parks and Recreation Director Kathy-Kravit Smith, Sheriff Paul Pastor, Public Works Director Brian Ziegler, county judges and others.
Council Chairman Roger Bush will preside over the meetings of the seven-member panel.
Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy last month proposed a $760 million budget package for 2011. It includes cuts in some areas, a few unfilled jobs and layoffs, and raises for workers. But it lacks the draconian cuts made in the last couple of years.
Still, the county’s departments are being asked to conserve and consolidate where they can, McCarthy said.
Under the county charter, the executive proposes the budget but the council is responsible for refining it, if necessary, and then passing it into law.
The spotlight is on the county’s $268 million general fund because it pays for public safety items such as sheriff’s deputies, courts and criminal justice services, parks and recreation, and planning and land services.